For anyone who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when kids actually got outside and amused themselves (and it was safe enough to do so), the bmx was probably our first taste of freedom and adventure and like with most things you always lusted after the best bike on the block. Back in the glory days GT, Redline, Diamond Back and Kuwahara were the brands to drool over. Then ET came along and Kuwahara went nuts!
So when Cam brought his Kuwahara Pacer in to be cabled up I was filled with a sense of nostalgia for those days when summers lasted for ever and everything seemed simpler and easier.
The brand was started as a small family business in Osaka, Japan in 1918 by Sentaro Kuwahara as a bicycle wholesaler and by 1925 he was exporting bikes to Russia, China and South East Asia. The company closed down during WWII but got right back to it once people had stopped killing each other.
1972 saw the first Kuwahara branded bikes exported to the US, European and Australian markets this was bolstered by american Howie Cohen who set up a US distributorship and ran a phone-in Kuwahara sticker give away to any little tacker that could pronounce the name correctly making it a household name.
Then ET phoned home and the image of a kid on a bmx, milk crate strapped onto the bars, cute extra terrestrial in a hoodie riding up front, sihlouetted against the moon hit the movie screens and the brand went nuts.
Cam informed me that this model, the Pacer, was made for the european market around 1991 and came during the time when several brands were experimenting with some pretty out there paint schemes. My first mtb, a GT Tequesta, had a similar liquid paper/paint dribble effect.
It’s not often you see one of these in the flesh and in such condition so I thought it deserved a couple of photos.